Pizza Hut is to start testing food delivery using an autonomous robot made by postal giant FedEx later this year, it can be revealed.
The trials are set to take place in the US in the coming months and will see the chain use FedEx’s SameDay Bot to support existing delivery staff in a bid to improve efficiency of the delivery process.
The robot is equipped with proprietary technology that allows it to navigate unpaved surfaces, curbs, and even steps to deliver a complete door-to-door delivery experience.
Nicolas Burquier, chief customer and operations officer at Pizza Hut US, said: “Our success is built around the best-in-class experiences we provide to our customers. As we look to advance our business and continue providing experiences that our customers deserve, exploring technology solutions that allow our team members to do what they do on an even greater scale is critical to our success. Testing of the SameDay Bot with FedEx is just one more way we’re looking to the future of delivery at Pizza Hut.”
In recent years, Pizza Hut has emerged as a driver of innovation in the pizza category, consistently exploring technological advances designed to improve the overall customer experience.
From introducing the first way to order pizza online in 1994, to partnering with reputable leaders in technology and delivery, the chain has remained committed to incorporating technology-based solutions to better support team members and deliver a hot, fast and reliable pizza experience for customers.
Brie Carere, executive vice president and chief marketing and communications officer for FedEx, said the SameDay Bot would change the face of local delivery and help brands such as Pizza Hut address the growing needs of their customers: “The FedEx bot looks to redefine delivery for this market in a manner that is cost-effective, safe and environmentally friendly.”
Pizza Hut said the testing would take place in select markets as soon as this summer, but it was currently awaiting final city approvals.
FedEx is also working with other retailers that are interested in utilising the technology. On average, more than 60% of merchants’ customers live within three miles of a store location, demonstrating the opportunity for what it calls “on-demand, hyper-local delivery”.
The FedEx bot is being developed in collaboration with DEKA Development & Research Corp and its founder Dean Kamen, inventor of many life-changing technologies, including the iBot Personal Mobility Device and the Segway .
Pizza Hut is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands and operates over 18,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries.